It’s Your Opportunity To Make An Impact, Make The Most of It
It happens all the time. You arrive at the office.
Coffee in hand, you’re busy preparing for the meeting that was put on the calendar two weeks ago. It’s your time to speak to colleagues to inspire, persuade, and provoke a change on how things get done in your company.
You have summoned the courage to propose something new, and recognize change is hard. Changing the status quo is never easy. It’s important.
The timing is right, and the pressure for results is on!
You are about to step into the limelight, to stand and deliver your proposition. But, did you ask yourself three key questions. All critical. None more important than the other.
Here are the three questions:
- What do I want them to think?
- What do I want them to feel?
- What do I want them to do when I stop communicating?
These questions seem so simple.
Yet, when preparing a client for an important speaking engagement, most clients don’t take the time to even consider what they or their audience want when communication stops. Armed with an abundance of expertise, they stand and speak about whatever is in their head, hoping for the best.
That approach lacks discipline and almost never ends well. From the first impression to the closing lines, many are not even aware of what the audience thinks or feels. Many dismiss audience needs before the meeting has even begun.
For years I’ve coached executives who need to persuade and provoke change to continually succeed.
Many sensed they were not up to the task or simply were never trained to communicate with power and persuasion. Becoming a masterful communicator requires several concurrent skills.
Ultimately, those skills culminate in being able to persuade, starting with three themes that are critical to audience engagement: Think, Feel, Do.
Extensive research has proven that people make decisions about each other in less than one second. Through the first impression, is the audience even listening? Now that you still have their attention, what do you want them to think? Easy. That you want to be trusted and thought of as a credible and trusted source of information.
From your appearance, to the beginning and end of your meeting, those listening will walk away thinking something about you. The question is…what? No matter your audience, you have the power, through the delivery of your narrative, to influence what they think about you and the subject matter delivered.
When you face the audience, recognize they will forget most of what you say. But they will never forget how you make them feel.
Martin Luther King, an American Baptist minister, Civil Rights Leader, and one of the world’s great orators, left people feeling hope, aspiring for a better future, and that everyone can make a difference to move others closer to any cause. Read, his words, note the skillful use of repetition, and the power of his delivery:
“I say to you today, my friends, even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow, I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream. I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up, live out the true meaning of its creed: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal.”
When you are able to break down the barriers and persuade your audience to think and feel a certain way, what will inevitably occur?
The desire and motivation to act. What do you want the audience to actually do as a result of your presentation or conversation? From civic involvement as inspired by King, to achieving personal and team goals, you have the opportunity to inspire action through your powerful and impactful communication.
Call to Action:
Before you prepare for that meeting, presentation, or speech, develop the mindset to ask yourself before you step in the spotlight, “What do I want my audience to think, feel, and do when communication stops?”
Give it some thought and try this new discipline. The mindset you develop in advance of any meeting or presentation is a critical as the skill set you use to inspire, persuade, and provoke change.